An elegiac sequence dedicated to the memory of Colin Middleton, the eminent Irish artist (who described himself as the sole surrealist painter of his time in Ireland); he died at the end of 1983. He was a friend of the Heaneys even selling them a piece of his work for thirty Guineas/ Forty-odd years ago. i Heaney portrays the expressiveness of the artist’s face, fusing the effects of Middleton’s addiction and the intensity with which his artist’s eye focussed on you: as if there wereSmoke … already in his eyes/ The way he’d narrow them to size you up.  Recalling Middleton as a chain smoker, all the while/ Licking and sealing a hand-rolled cigarette, Heaney likens Each small ash increment flicked off/ As white […]